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A Boy, His Brain and a Decades-Long Medical Controversy

Wired Magazine

Seema Yasmin

March 2021

Ten-year-old Timothy’s personality changed overnight after experiencing a concussion during a family ski trip. He became unsteady on his feet and then grew suicidal, obsessive and withdrawn. Doctors bounced Timothy around from specialist to specialist, unable to figure out or agree on a diagnosis. Finally, a chiropractor diagnosed Timothy with PANDAS and prescribed him an antibiotic to eradicate any remaining strep bacteria in his system. Within days, Timothy was recognizable to his parents again—but they wondered: When doctors can’t decide on a diagnosis, like what had happened for months in Timothy’s case, where does that leave patients in need?

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